For 40 years I have been teaching transformation. I continually look for tools that will help. One of my friends sent me the following passage by Richard Rohr, the Franciscan priest who founded the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, NM.
Historically speaking, in most cultures the role of men has been to create, to make new things, to fix broken things, and to defend us from things which could hurt us. All of these are wonderful and necessary roles for the preservation of the human race.
However, most children saw their mother in a different way. She was not a creator, a fixer, or a defender, but rather a transformer.
Once a woman has carried her baby inside of her body for nine months and brought it forth, through the pain of childbirth, into the world, she knows the mystery of transformation at a cellular level. She knows it intuitively, yet she usually cannot verbalize it, nor does she need to. She just holds it at a deeper level of consciousness. She knows something about mystery, about miracles, and about transformation that men will never know (which is why males had to be initiated!). Women who are not mothers often learn it by simply being in the “community of women.”
The feminine body can be seen as a cauldron of transformation. Her body turns things into other things—her body turns a love act into a perfect little child. Yet, in her heart, she knows SHE did not do it. All she had to do was to wait and eat well, to believe and to hope for nine months. This gives a woman a very special access to understanding spirituality as transformation—if she is able to listen to her own experience and her own body. Admittedly, not all women do.
For most people the transformational process is a mystery. Yet every relationship, group and organization can become a cauldron of transformation. There must first be an insemination, a generative influence, usually a visionary idea proposed by someone who cares very much. Once the idea begins to gestate the developmental process takes on a life of its own. Transformations must be continually nurtured but they cannot be controlled. People who live through transformations can reflect on them and begin to understand the dynamics. They can learn to do what is impossible to conventional logic.
Can I “verbalize” how transformation unfolds?
What can I learn from the analogy of gestation?
How can we use this passage to create a more positive organization?